Mechanization and Technology

Steyr® brings hybrid technology closer to production

09 September 2023, US: At Agritechnica 2023, STEYR® Traktoren is signaling its intent to bring its previously-shown Konzept technologies to market by unveiling the Hybrid CVT, a development model which is already working in the field and takes many Konzept technologies closer to production.

Based on the current well-established STEYR 6175 Impuls CVT platform, the Hybrid CVT incorporates many of the features shown previously on the Konzept tractor and on the Hybrid Drivetrain Konzept. However, while they were development concepts, the Hybrid CVT is a fully-operational tractor that is close to production-ready.

Turning concepts into reality

With the STEYR Hybrid CVT tractor, key principles of the STEYR Konzept and Hybrid Drivetrain Konzept are drawn together into a close to production-ready machine. One of the key features of the Hybrid CVT is that, while it is based on the 180hp (rated) STEYR 6175 Impuls CVT platform, it has been possible to provide it with the power output of the largest model in the range above, which produces 260hp (max). This combination of higher power in a lighter package is made possible primarily because of the combination of hydro-mechanical CVT drive to the rear axle and the hybrid module on the front axle, both of which can be combined with an intelligent 4wd clutch. The front axle also features a newly-developed independent suspension for greater operator comfort. The E-CVT function means the tractor is powered purely hybrid-electrically at up to 75kW and a low 1,100rpm, enhancing comfort with non-constant PTO loads such as big square baler work, and maintaining ground speed via electric drive, with no mechanical connection with the engine. Faster, more responsive E-Shuttling results in 41% faster maneuvering at low engine speeds and a 15% reduction in fuel use.

Electric drive brings other benefits for operators and owners. E-Steering accelerates the front axle during field-speed turns, to reduce turning radius by 15% for 20% faster maneuvering, while E-Boost provides additional electric power when needed, such as after slowing down at a junction, after which full travel speed can be re-attained 25% faster than with a conventional transmission. This is possible using supercapacitor technology, which allows electrical energy generated by the tractor when, for example, travelling downhill, to be stored for use when it is needed, such as the boost required in this situation.

With E-Torque Vectoring, torque is directed to the front or rear wheels as required, creating a variable, on-demand 4wd system. During field work, the front wheels are driven electrically at the same speed as the rear wheels, for optimal traction, reducing fuel consumption, tire wear and soil/crop damage through slippage. It also means 4wd can be used on-road, without tire wear/damage or driver discomfort. E-Braking keeps the tractor’s speed constant on downhill gradients and uses the electric driveline like a retarder to minimise brake wear and increase driving safety.

E-Torque Filling reduces by 6% on average the speed variation caused by hard/soft ground patches when working with soil-engaging implements. The result is consistently faster ground speed, for greater comfort, precision and workrates/output.

E-Eco Mode is designed to allow the tractor to operate during light work and transport at the highest possible efficiency level according to the combination of electric and CVT drive power, with the potential to reduce fuel consumption by 5-10%. The STEYR Hybrid CVT can also power compatible implements electrically via E-Implement technology, providing up to 75kW @ 700V via a standard AEF port, to drive their functions and, where required, their wheels.

“In just four years since we unveiled the STEYR Konzept tractor, followed shortly by the Hybrid Drivetrain Konzept, we have taken key design concepts to the point of production,” says Christian Huber, Managing Director CNH Austria and Vice President Global Tractor Product Management.

“It was always our intention to move progressively from concept to reality with the Konzept innovations we have developed, and with the STEYR Hybrid CVT I think we have made clear our intention to break new ground with innovative technology and integration on a tractor that will provide customers with greater efficiency, productivity and driving experience.”

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